Wednesday, May 11, 2016

STEM OPT Extension E-forms Now Available!

Attention employees eligible for a STEM OPT Extension: STEM OPT Extension e-forms are now available in iStart

If you have already completed the Intent to Pursue STEM Extension and it has been approved, you may complete the remaining forms. If you've not completed the Intent to Pursue STEM Extension e-form and your current OPT expires in the next 6 months, please begin the e-forms as soon as possible.

If you are a Georgia Tech F-1, these forms are in addition to the forms required by OIE.

Monday, May 9, 2016

U.S. Consulate in Toronto Suspends Third Country National Appointments in Summer 2016

From GreenbergTraurig, 05/06/2016

Following a trend from past summers, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto has suspended Third Country Nationals’ (non-Canadian Nationals’) visa appointments in the summer months of June, July, and August. This suspension only applies to Third Country Nationals and Canadian citizen applicants. Those Third Country Nationals who are legally living in Canada are unaffected. Third Country Nationals with an appointment already scheduled during the summer months may not be affected. However, applicants should consult with counsel or call the Consulate in advance to confirm prior to traveling to Canada.  For now, it appears that the other U.S. Consulates in Canada will continue processing Third Country Applicant visa applications during, but this could change as in years past.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

USCIS Processing Times

Message adapted from USCIS Stakeholder Communication, 04/28/2016

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recognizes that some cases are taking longer to complete than usual and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. Current personnel resources do not align with the present caseload, but they are working to address the staffing shortages and workload issues that are causing the delays. 

USCIS continually reviews their workload capacity at each service center and, based on their findings, redistribute the work among the service centers. This type of planning allows USCIS to maximize their resources and minimize any delays when work is transferred. USCIS has recently transferred cases between all of the service centers, including their newest center, the Potomac Service Center. This work includes all recently filed Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, submitted by F-1 and M-1 students for Optional Practical Training.  For more details, you can visit the workload transfer updates page.

While this may not reduce wait times immediately, USCIS hopes you will see improvement over the next few months. Transferring cases will assist with backlog reduction, ensure processing times are consistent across service centers, and provide customers and stakeholders with faster responses.

Here is what you need to know if your case is transferred to another center for action: 
  • Your case will be worked based on the processing times of the receiving center
  • All notices and requests will come from the new center
  • Please notify USCIS any time you change your address
  • If you receive notice that your Green Card has been approved, please wait 120 days to receive it in the mail
Customers can access current processing times on the USCIS website at

USCIS encourages you to sign up for an account with Case Status Online to get an email or text notification when there is an update to your status, including when your Green Card is mailed. They also encourage you to keep your address up to date to ensure that your card is delivered to your most current physical address. You can update your mailing address online at